TERRE HAUTE, Indiana--Kirkland native Tansey Lystad (left/photo by Randy Miyazaki, trackandfieldphoto.com) of the University of Portland was the first Washingtonian to finish, as she placed 15th in the women's 6k at the NCAA Division I cross country championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course Saturday.
Lystad, the reigning West Coast Conference champion out of Inglemoor HS, completed the course in a time of 20:20 to earn All-America honors, and the school's highest individual finish at the national championships.
Also earning All-America honors in the national championships on the women's side were the University of Washington's Maddie Meyers, who finished 27th in 20:33, just one spot ahead of Pasco HS grad Marisa Howard of Boise State, who ran 20:36.
The University of Washington women's team, which entered the NCAA championships ranked #19 in the final USTFCCCA regular season poll, finished 23rd with a final team score of 559 points.
Behind Meyers were freshman Anna Maxwell in 124th (21:24), junior Erin Johnson in 177th (21:45), junior Eleanor Fulton in 186th (21:49), and redshirt frosh Kelly Lawson in 196th (21:55), giving the Huskies a 1:22 split from their first through fifth runners. Soph Kaylee Flanagan was 203rd in 21:58, and frosh Anastasia Kosykh was 217th in 22:09.
Afterwards, UW coach Greg Metcalf commented on his young team, missing two key members from last year's team who ran at nationals in Katie Knight and Amy-Eloise Neale with injuries, said, "For our ladies, getting to the meet was probably the big deal at the beginning of the year and we did that. A lot of women will learn from this and get better."
Michigan State won the women's national title, scoring 85 points, followed by Iowa State (147), New Mexico (188), and Georgetown (189).
Pac-12 schools included Oregon in 6th with 249, Colorado in 7th with 267, Stanford in 14th with 415, and UCLA in 27th with 582.
Iona's Kate Avery won the title with a time of 19:32, followed by Wisconsin's Sarah Disanza (19:40), and Boise State's Emma Bates (19:45).
The University of Washington men's squad finished 20th, as Aaron Nelson and Tyler King both earned All-America honors.
Nelson, who finished 20th in the 2013 race, crossed the line at the end of the 10k race in a time of 30:43, while King earned the final All-America spot with his 40th place finish in 30:57.
Junior Meron Simon was 154th in 31:59, followed by junior Izaic Yorks in 159th at 32:02. Colby Gilbert rounded out the UW scorers in 195th in 32:32, giving the Huskies a 1-5 split of 1:49.
Freshman Fred Huxham was 216th in 32:53, and redshirt freshman AJ Yarnall was 244th in 34:39.
“The men’s side today, to have two men be All-American, I would have bet we’d be a top-ten team,” said Metcalf. “But Aaron Nelson, for him to be a repeat All-American in cross country is a huge testament to the work that he’s done. And Tyler, that’s the best race of his career. But it takes five. Meron and Izaic just didn’t have their best, and Colby struggled today, he’s just way better than that.
It was a successful day for title defenses on the men's side, as Edward Cheserek of Oregon won again in a time of 30:20, four seconds ahead of teammate Eric Jenkins. Northern Arizona's Futsum Zienasellassie was third in 30:25, followed by Stanford's Maksim Korolev (30:30), and Colorado's Ammar Moussa (30:30).
Colorado won its second straight NCAA team title with 65 points, followed by Stanford's 98, Portland's 175, and Northern Arizona's 188.
Oregon was 6th with 221, and UCLA 18th with 454 to round out the other Pac-12 schools with teams in the field of 31.
Among those with Washington ties competing in the race were Todd Wakefield of New Mexico, who graduated from WSU, but had eligibility remaining, finishing 93rd in 31:30; Nathan Weitz of Northern Arizona (Shadle Park HS), who was 118th in 31:41; Conner Peloquin of BYU (Gig Harbor HS), who was 127th in 31:48; and, Shane Moskowitz of Oklahoma State (Central Kitsap HS), who was 153rd in 31:59.
CENTRAL WOMEN EARN NATIONALS BERTH AS WWU'S STEEN WINS REGIONALS
In Billings, Montana, Western Washington's Katelyn Steen took home the individual title at the NCAA Division II Western Regional championship meet at Amend Park.
Steen, the reigning GNAC champion, ran the 6k distance in a time of 21:07, helping the Vikings to a sixth place team finish (185), good enough to qualify the team for the national championship meet in two weeks in Louisville, Kentucky.
"Katelyn executed her game plan perfectly," said WWU head coach Pee Well Halsell, noting that she wanted to take command with about two miles to go.
The Central Washington women's team finished one spot ahead of Western Washington to earn its first national championship berth since 2000. scoring 180 points.
Dani Eggleston of the Wildcats was tenth in 21:40, with teammates Connie Morgan (21:58) and Megan Rogers (22:00) close behind in 13th and 14th.
Seattle Pacific's Anna Patti was seventh overall in 21:32, and missed qualifying for the national championship meet as an individual (top 3 not on one of the six qualifying teams).
The Falcons finished 12th with 282 points, and Saint Martin's was 24th with 725 points.
Simon Fraser won the women's regional title with 103 points, with Chico State (112), Alaska Anchorage (144), and UC San Diego (171) finishing ahead of CWU and WWU.
On the men's side, Isaac Griffith's twelfth place finish, in a time of 31:27 over 10k helped Western Washington to a fourth place finish and advance to the national championships, as the Vikings scored 150 points.
The Vikings were the only Washington squad to advance to nationals, as Chico State won the regional title with 30 points, foliowed by Alaska Anchorage with 53 and Cal Poiy Pomona with 101.
Central Washington was 14th with 402, and Saint Martin's was 21st with 568 points.
Alaska Anchorage's Henry Cheseto won the individual crown, running 30:34.
At the NCAA Division III championship meet in Mason, Ohio, Roosevelt HS grad Lucy Cheadle's undefeated season came to an end, as the Washington University of St. Louis senior finished second to Stevens Institute's Amy Regan, 20:52 to 20:59 over the 6k Kings Island Golf Center course.
Cheadle became the 13th individual in NCAA D3 women's history to earn four All-America cross country honors, and her runner-up finish is also the highest individual placing in school history.
The WUSTL women's squad earned a fourth place finish, scoring 180 points, as Johns Hopkins took the team title for the third year in a row with 87 points.
NOTE: The University of Washington, University of Portland, NCAA, Central Washington University, Western Washington University, GNAC, and Washington University of St. Louis sports information offices contributed to this report.